The 2016/17 FIA Formula E season comes to a close in Canada this weekend, with two races at the Montreal ePrix on 29th and 30th July. António Félix da Costa (POR), BMW works driver, and Robin Frijns (NED) are aiming to close the season in the points positions with the BMW supported MS Amlin Andretti team.
Canada’s rich motor racing history will be enhanced still further by the arrival by the all-electric championship for the first time. The Montreal streets play host to a purpose built track, celebrating its Formula E debut and navigating the city’s downtown metropolis. Having scored points with Robin Frijns in both races in New York City (USA), MS Amlin Andretti will be focused and confident of repeat success in Canada.
MS Amlin Andretti races the ATEC-002 in Season 3, with Félix da Costa and Frijns in its two entries – Frijns in number 27 and Félix da Costa in number 28. BMW provides expertise and support to the American team as it runs its own powertrain for the first time in Season 3, having run the standard Formula E technology in the first two seasons.
Fans can vote to give their favourite driver a ‘FanBoost’ – an extra energy allocation, available in the second half of the race – online. The three drivers with the most votes receive an extra 100KJ of energy, which can boost power by up to 30KW. There are two methods: voting on fanboost.fiaformulae.com, or by using the hashtag #FanBoost, plus #AntonioFelixdaCosta or #RobinFrijns, on Twitter or Instagram.
António Félix da Costa, MS Amlin Andretti: “The last race of the season is important, because we want to get a good result – we’re all really motivated for it. It’s probably going to be one of the best tracks we’ve driven in Formula E. It’s a double header, two chances for a good result, and we want to achieve the best we can here.”
Robin Frijns, MS Amlin Andretti: “This is the first time for Formula E to race in Montreal and it’s the first time ever for me to visit Montreal as well. After a decent finish at the New York ePrix, with double points, our aim is to finish even higher in Montreal. The track looks very nice and there seem to be some good opportunities to overtake, which has us looking forward. We will look to finish the season the on a high.”
Montreal is in the Quebec province, and is its largest city – though it is neither the largest city in Canada. Nonetheless, few cities in the world have motorsport heritage like Montreal, which hosts a yearly Formula One Grand Prix at the “Circuit Gilles Villeneuve”, named for the Canadian star. The official language of the city is French, though the majority of the area is bilingual – English is commonly spoken. Formula E’s calendar is packed with culture, and the final round location is no exception. The city is home to the world famous Montreal International Jazz Festival, a founding team of the National Hockey League (NHL) – the Montreal Canadiens – and the 1976 Olympic Games. Now it adds all-electric racing to its roster.
The Montreal ePrix’s brand new city centre circuit should be a thoroughly entertaining venue, featuring a skyscraper backdrop and several thrilling elevation changes. Turns 1 and 11 both offer excellent opportunities for overtaking, with a heavy braking zone following a long straight – turn 1 a sharp right, rotating more than 90 degrees, and turn 11 the first part of a double chicane. The fast, sweeping left handed run between the hairpin at turn 5 and the sharp right at 6 will also be a daunting test for the drivers and their machines.